“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: …Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, “Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:5-9).
Those words above are from Jeremiah and they were among the first words I ever recall ever reading from the Bible. He told Jeremiah that he knew about him before he was born. I realized God wanted me to be born and I was a twin! I felt like God cared. I so young but I knew this, I knew I was here for a reason.
The artist of the children’s Bible had a picture of a young boy and God’s hand and a finger coming out of a cloud and touching his mouth. It really struck me. It fascinated me and I kept staring at that picture.
I immediately began to ask, “Can God do that?”
“Can He touch my lips?”
To this day I can remember that moment. I did not know anything about Jeremiah except two things: he was a boy like me and God liked him. God did not seem distant but he seemed like he was reaching out to me.
God liked me.
For some strange reason, I began to take that Bible and go out behind the Park Hill Apartments. I climbed the high hill that overlooked the row homes and I began to yell down to the people. I saw clouds above the apartments and began to tell them, “There is a cloud of sin over this place!”
I don’t know why I was doing that.
I never saw anyone do something like that before.
What was worse people heard me and were coming out of their homes. I could see them below. I was loud enough to be heard. I began reading out of that Bible as loud as I could. Some kids in the neighborhood were making fun of me. To my right, there was other homes and kids came after me trying to beat me up. One kid came after me and I got scared. I think I found a board and hit him in the legs. He limped away (I was not saved yet so cut me some slack).
My mother said to me later in life when I asked her what she remembered. She remembered that day seeing my brother Mike walking in the house.
She asked him, “Where is your brother?
Mike annoyed and embarrassed said, “He’s out there PREACHING!”
This is the second part of my testimony. Please check back to see the next installment.
©2015 Rev. Stephen S. Gibney, give credit where credit is due.